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Loeb Fellowship announces incoming Class of 2022

grid image of the ten incoming members of the Loeb Fellowship program

The Loeb Fellowship's Class of 2022. Clockwise from top left: Andrea Bolnick, Jordan Weber, Will Hunter, Monica Rhodes, Michael Uwemedimo, Veyom Bahl, Karen Dawn Blondel, Mpho Matsipa, Stephanie Hankey, and Moddie Turay

Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Loeb Fellowship is pleased to announce its Class of 2022, a cohort of ten innovators who work across activism, urbanism, public art, film and media, technology, real estate development, and other fields that engage with the built environment and social outcomes. In addition to marking the program’s 51st class of Fellows, the Loeb Fellowship’s 2021-2022 cycle will inaugurate a collaborative fellowship between the Loeb Fellowship and the ArtLab at Harvard University.

Each year, Harvard GSD’s Loeb Fellowship welcomes a cohort of exceptional mid-career practitioners through a highly competitive, global application process. The fellowship includes a one-year residency on the GSD’s campus, where fellows engage in research, audit courses, convene workshops, and attend and participate on panels and at conferences as a way of furthering knowledge-sharing and expanding their work through social engagement.

The ten 2022 Loeb Fellows were selected from among 134 candidates, and join a powerful worldwide network of over 450 lifelong Loeb Fellows, alumni including Robin Chase, Alejandro Echeverri, Theaster Gates, Toni L. Griffin, Anna Heringer, Rick Lowe, Cathleen McGuigan, Damon Rich, Inga Saffron, and the late Phil Freelon.

“The Class of 2022 exemplifies our commitment to some of the most urgent social issues of both the current moment and our collective history, among them racial justice, environmental and spatial equity, the societal impacts of technology, inclusive cultural preservation, and activism,” observes Loeb Fellowship Curator John Peterson. “In addition to their year of independent study, we look forward to amplifying the voices and issues that this cohort of Loeb Fellows brings to Harvard and the GSD community, through our events and public programming as well as active engagement with students and faculty.”

The incoming cohort of Loeb Fellows are:

Veyom Bahl, New York, NY; Managing Director, Robin Hood Foundation

Karen Dawn Blondel, New York, NY; Founder, Public Housing Civic Association

Andrea Bolnick, Cape Town, South Africa; Managing Director, Ikhayalami

Stephanie Hankey, Berlin, Germany; Executive Director, Tactical Tech

Will Hunter, London, United Kingdom; Founder, The London School of Architecture

Mpho Matsipa, Johannesburg, South Africa; Founder and Chief Curator, African Mobilities and Chancellor's Fellow (FALF), University of the Witwatersrand 

Monica Rhodes, Baltimore, MD; Director of Resource Management, National Park Foundation and Director of Partnerships, Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites at the Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania

Moddie Turay, Detroit, MI; Founder and CEO, City Growth Partners

Michael Uwemedimo, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; Co-founder and Director, Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, King’s College London

Jordan Weber, Des Moines, IA; regenerative land sculptor and environmental activist; Artist-in-Residence, Walker Art Center and Pulitzer Arts Foundation

In addition to being selected as one of this year’s fellows, Weber has been awarded the inaugural joint Loeb/ArtLab Fellowship, intended to enrich the fellowship experience with studio space in the ArtLab, research support and networking resources through the ArtLab community, and other engagement around proposed programs and projects over the course of the year.

“As the ArtLab continues to expand and deepen its creative mission, we are excited to collaborate with the GSD on the Loeb/ArtLab Fellowship, and we are especially proud to select Jordan Weber for this inaugural cycle,” says ArtLab’s Director Bree Edwards. “The Loeb Fellowship's commitment to interdisciplinary research and experimentation, and to improving social outcomes, intersects harmoniously with the ArtLab's vision and mission, and we look forward to the important work and conversations that we hope this collaborative fellowship will inspire. Jordan brings a remarkable artistic vision and a commitment to exploring place, race, and power, and we are honored to collaborate on and share some of his projects in the coming months.”

Loeb Fellows spend a year in residence in Cambridge engaging in research, collaboration, and dialogue at Harvard GSD, enhancing how their work advances positive social outcomes and equity. Among other activities during the course of their year-long residencies, Loeb Fellows immerse themselves in the academic environment, auditing courses across vast offerings at Harvard and MIT, challenging their ideas and processes, and expanding their professional networks. Fellows also engage with Harvard GSD students and faculty, participate as speakers and panelists at public events, and convene workshops and other activities that encourage knowledge sharing and creation. Throughout, Loeb Fellows consider how they might broaden or refocus their careers and the impact of their work, and deepen their work’s social engagement.

The Loeb Fellowship traces its roots to the late 1960s, when John L. Loeb was directing a Harvard GSD campaign themed around “Crisis.” Loeb saw the American city in disarray and believed Harvard could help. He imagined bringing highly promising innovators of the built and natural environment to Harvard GSD for a year, challenging them to do more and do better, convinced they would return to their work with new ideas and energy.

John and his wife Frances endowed the Loeb Fellowship as part of their gift to the “Crisis” campaign. They worked closely with William A. Doebele, the Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design (now Emeritus), the program’s founding curator, who guided the program from the Class of 1971 through its first 27 years and shaped an experience that has had a powerful impact on generations of urban, rural, and environmental practitioners.

Today, the Loeb Fellowship is led by Curator John Peterson, architect, activist, and founder of Public Architecture, a national nonprofit organization, and himself a program alumnus.